Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Time

Bob is teaching our granddaughter a first song on the ukulele
What have I been up to this summer?
Not really all that much. 

What I have done is spend more time at the lake, more time just cruising the internet and more time napping. With Bob's recent retirement we have had a unique time in our lives to just be together.

I have spent a lot of my time tweaking my resume and looking at the job ads. I have read an interesting assortment of library books including  Get Back to Work Fast- a No Nonsense Guide For Finding Your Next Job which is good for a more mature person trying to get reemployed.  What Color is your Parachute? is a classic that is helpful in figuring out what kind of jobs might interest a person. I even read a surprisingly useful book called- Landing a Job for Canadians for Dummies.  I have even been saving pins on Pinterest about how to ace interview questions.  I might be overthinking this.  I have wanted to get back to work for such a long time. The prospect of a real job is both exciting and a little intimidating all at the same time.

 Recently we have been working on cleaning up a lot of junk from our house. We tend to hang on to old ways and the things we don't need anymore and my heart is saying it is time for a fresh start. My parents were very frugal people. The depression years taught them not to waste anything and I was raised to make use of every plastic margarine container, piece of scrap fabric or tiny piece of wood. My husband was raised the same way so the two of us make a bad combo for keeping things.  We know that things have to change.

Right now my husband is out in the garage sorting through the mountain of stuff we have had piled up for years. We saved all those things because someday they would be useful.  

It is hard to pick up an item and make those hard decisions.

Will I use this item again?
Is there someone else who can use this item?
Have I waited so long to use this that it is now simple garbage?

I have a huge heavy box of record albums, mainly my late fathers, out in the garage and we have a stereo system in the basement that could play them.
I look at all those albums and think of my dad with some happy memories but I don't for a minute think I will ever play them again. If I actually wanted to hear the Lennon Sisters I would watch them on YouTube with enhanced audio. The next question is could they be worth something if we sold them? There is a maybe in my mind about that one but I bet the dollar value selling them is no where near worth the stress of it all.

Now that we have decided to part with those records the question pops up-- Are they garbage after all? If we take them to a charity resale shop will they just have to pay a staff person to carry them to a dumpster? The other resale place buys material that is picked up from homes or community drop off areas by charities like the Canadian Diabetes and it  pays the charity by the weight of the load. Those ol' LP records are pretty heavy you know.

Ultimately it seems easier to use some of the scrap lumber leaning on the opposite side of the garage to make a new shelf and put the record box back up.  We could choose to leave the decision one more day.. or even  longer.

Just to brag a bit we have recently hauled 1 load of "electronic waste" and one load of scrap metal out of our lives and  3 SUV loads off to charity. Our garbage and recycling containers have been filled to the brim every week.

Change is hard.
Really hard.

You can't turn the clock back.

I can't sit and listen to those records with my dad ever again, but I will always appreciate music and I do love singing those old songs to my grand-kids.

I will never again have the kind of job I loved 20 years ago but I think, just perhaps, the new type of job could be even more wonderful.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Final Week of College

The end is in sight.

Painting by Edmond W. Greacen - Ethol with Roses
My course in therapeutic recreation is going to be over after 5 more work days.  In many ways it feels like we just got started and now it is over already. This has been such an exhausting  and difficult experience and in many ways it has been  positive and life affirming.

In a somewhat overwhelmed moment I told my husband I wasn't sure this has been worth it and that I might never actually get a job.

He said he knows it was worth it. My confidence and attitude is so much better.  My interest in learning is  back. My stamina and energy level really has increased since I have been pushing myself to the limit day after day. Physically I still have a lot of issues and I have more than a few emotional scars from the trauma of the past 6 years but I feel very different about myself right now. I feel a sense of value and direction in my life once again.

I don't know what will happen next.
Maybe I will get a job soon.
Maybe I need to get even more training somewhere.
Maybe I should go on a trip.

I think I might just  relax and take some time to smell the roses!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My Work Placement

I might use pansies for my indoor garden program next week.
I have been very, very busy at my first unpaid work placement for the past 3 weeks. I am at a
personal care home that is part of a large chain. The home is pretty large with just over 200 residents and it has 10 people employed as recreation staff.  I love the people I have been working with. Just lovely people and I do feel at home. It is challenging though. The real world experience is being valuable.

 Next week will involve a lot of assignments and activities that I will be marked on. I will spend Monday at the college with my class and teachers and I will have to give a short presentation about the place where I am working. We are all at different locations all around the city and it fascinating to see how incredibly different all the facilities are.  From Tuesday to Friday I will be observed and marked while running three programs. I choose the programs, plan them out  and I will do a write up about each of them. I am planning a music program, a game program and I have been researching Horticultural Therapy for the last one. I will get to help out at the monthly "club night". I also need to make up a pretend May calendar for the facility with events and activities for the floor I am working on.

I am holding out okay physically, but believe me this is NOT easy.  It is a blessing to be of service to the people in the home but there is only so much one can do to help. There is sadness and loss to be seen there but there are inspiring moments of joy and dignity too.

I will do a work placement at an assisted living facility for May and I think that will also be an interesting experience.
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